Tag Archives: Finish That Thought

Threadbare

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Threadbare

[Written on December 10, 2013, this was posted to my first attempt at creating a blog.  It has a good message and I wanted to share it once again.  Image Credit]

Threadbare

“This, to me, represents love…” The letter was written to explain why they had to divorce. She shook her head in irritation. Her soon-to-be-ex-husband had no concept of love and staying strong through the hard times. She continued lost in thought when she almost tripped over the child curled up against the wall in the street.

Streaks of dirt only highlighted the deeper dirt that covered the child. His clothing was threadbare, the patches in the knees worn through. He didn’t meet her eyes. She saw many passed him by giving him no notice. But this was a child. All children deserved notice.

Kneeling down, she asked him, “Where are your parents?” He tilted his head as if uncertain what she said. He tugged at his ear and then she realized he was using a rudimentary sign language. She only drove into town to straighten out some legal matters. “Legal matters”…such a cold way to refer to the dissolution of a marriage. Still, she could not ignore this child. Decision made, she held out her hand.

The boy studied the hand with its neatly painted nails. He could not recall a clean hand offered his way. People on the streets would drag him along, making sure he made it to a shelter to get something to eat…most of the time. Sometimes, though, he hid amongst the trash, disappearing. She shook her hand with a little impatience. He saw her mouth move, knowing she was trying to tell him something. Finally, he slowly took her hand.

She hesitated at first before fully grasping the hand. She could feel the greasy grasp slide over her fingers. She fought against her instinct. She told herself, “It’s just dirt! It’s just dirt!” She pushed back the desire to put a handkerchief between their hands. Shaking away the physical discomfort, she continued walking down the sidewalk. The attorney wouldn’t be far and he could advise her about the child.

“Odd,” she thought. “My problem with dirt…with unclean things is what pushed my husband and me apart. Even…getting personal makes me physically ill. Yet, I am holding the hand of this dirty child.” She looked over at him as he squirmed a little and caught him scratching. “…this dirty, LICE RIDDEN child.” Reaching the entrance to the attorney, she turned towards him.

“I know you can’t understand me, but you need to trust me.” He stared at her uncomprehendingly, sniffing. Then he took his hand and dragged it across the offending nose. Fighting nausea, she shakily took that hand back into hers as they climbed the steps. “I can do this…I can do this…” she continued to chant as they opened the door.

“Hello, Mrs. Sanders. You’re a few minutes ear…” The receptionist cut her statement short. “Oh..oh…ummm…what’s this?”

“This is a who…and I’m not sure but we need to figure something out.” The boy stared out the window as rain began to fall. At least, he thought, I am dry for now.

Written in response to Finish That Thought. The prompt: This, to me, represents love.

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An Egretful Morning

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hedgehog

The egret showed up on my porch at the oddest of times.  I laughed at the thought, as egrets on the porch are a rather abnormal event.  Perhaps the dampness brought him inland, I considered as the petrichor of the morning shower wafted over me.  He seemed to be captivated by the teapot, turning his head to the left and the right curiously.  Then he tapped at the lid.  I was surprised to hear a tap back.  Slowly, the lid lifted and there it sat.  Extraordinary!  A tiny hedgehog had curled up into the floral, ceramic pot.  What would occur next?

The hedgehog stretched and then rolled out of its makeshift bed like a roly poly and found its feet.  The egret nudged it with his beak and the hedgehog responded to this intrusion by turning his back full of tiny quills his direction.  The egret tilted his head one last time, curiosity satisfied, took an odd hop before taking to the air.  He spiraled above for a moment before following the contrail back to his wetlands.  The hedgehog, however, seemed less concerned with outer spaces as he become quite interested in a pile of treasures left by my nephew.

He attempted to climb into the bed of the small, yellow dump truck but it tilted up landing him on his back.  With some chubby kicks of his little legs, he flipped back over and backed up to reconsider the pile.  Something else caught his eye and he picked his way through the pile.

I laid my book down and reached for my glass of lemonade when I heard a WHAP! A scraping and a struggle pulled my attention back to the pile where I saw that the poor creature was indeed in trouble.  The butterfly net had tumbled over the top of him and the quills were finding themselves wrapped into the threads.  “You’ve gotten yourself into a bit of a pickle, haven’t you, little mister?”

Scooping up the net, I gave it a couple of stern shakes.  The hedgehog came free and tumbled the short distance to the floor.  He seemed stunned at first.  Then, backing away from the pile, he decided his visit had been enough adventure.  Seeking escape, he slipped through a small hole at the edge of the porch.  Perhaps I will leave the teapot outside more often.  It certainly shook away the lonely strings of my morning.


This was written in response to:

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-16

MERCY

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The sea, which had been glassy only an hour before, now raged with an unholy vengeance upon the small ship.  The lighthouse keeper pulled up his galligaskins and ran up the spiral stairs to the lamp.  The oil was sound but as he peered into the relentless storm, he knew the ship would not last long.  As if on cue, he watched the ship capsize and disappear beneath the waves.  Sounding the alarm, he headed down the stairs two at a time.  As he reached the base of the tower, he saw the nearby villagers gathering.  They watched in horror as the occupants disappeared below the white caps of the ocean.  She had once more claimed the lives of those approaching Eldric Reef.  It was a cursed place to be sure.

As quickly as the storm built, it dissipated as if appeased by the sacrifice of the trawler.  The lighthouse keeper looked about the shore, not expecting anyone to survive the rage of the sea.  The villagers also started to fan out, walking the shoreline, looking for signs of life.  The vainness of the task was not lost upon them.  How many lives had the sea taken?  And always, it seemed, upon the close of winter.  The sea seemed to demand a sacrifice to hale the spring into life.  March winds seemed to feed that demand, pitching up a storm of great power every year. 

A cry down the beach caught everyone’s attention.  The small crowd rushed down the shore to see what had been found.  Three men fished the boy from the sea with the long hooks on a pole.  He had clung to the board with all of his might, refusing to give in.  Perhaps this was a good sign.  Perhaps the sea would relent for once.  Maybe this will be the last sacrifice.

As the boy stepped forth on shaky legs, a lost expression grayed his expression.  He was uncertain of how to proceed.  Turning back to the sea, he realized he alone survived.  “Lydia…,” he gasped. 

“Is that the name of the ship, boy?” asked the lighthouse keeper.

The boy shook his head.  “It…was the name of the storm…she let me live.”

The villagers looked around in surprise.  “How do you know her name?” the lighthouse keeper queried further.

“She whispered it in my ear as she pushed me to the shore. “

The lighthouse keeper glanced around to the other villagers, clearly flummoxed by this revelation.   “Did she say anything else?” one of the villagers  sought curiously.

“She said…that’s enough.  I…I wasn’t supposed to be on the trawler.  I hid under the tarp until after we left the docks.”

 “A stowaway,” echoed another villager.

“W…we lost my brother last summer to the sea.  I wanted to help the family.  Perhaps…she knew my brother died.  Perhaps she showed mercy in her demand,” he responded.

“Mercy,” spat another villager.  “How many died so she could show you mercy?  What makes you so special?”

“I survived,” he reposted.

 

This was written in response to this week’s “Finish That Thought #35”.